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Tokyo (AFP) – A Japanese city that accidentally sent $360,000 in financial aid to a resident said Wednesday it was forced to file a lawsuit after the recipient refused to return the funds.
“We are sorry to cause trouble for the residents… We are now continuing this housekeeping,” an Abu official told AFP, adding that the decision would be approved at a council meeting on Thursday.
Last month, the city in the western prefecture of Yamaguchi sent 100,000 yen ($768) each to 463 low-income households affected by the pandemic.
But in the process, they mistakenly transferred an additional lump sum of 46.3 million yen to a single household.
Red-faced officials immediately visited the recipient, who was not identified, and were told the money would be returned.
But despite frantic letters and calls, there was no sign of the money.
When they finally reconnected face-to-face, according to a letter released by the mayor, the recipient admitted to ‘moving the money and being unable to return it, but said he was prepared to atone for the sin’ .
The incident made headlines in Japan, with the local mayor releasing an apology video to his constituents, saying he was “deeply sorry” for the mistake.
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